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For the fifteenth year in a row the Bass Coast Community Foundation has distributed Back to School vouchers to local schools and Bass Coast Health’s Family Resource Centre to help local families struggling to meet the costs of a new school year.
“We recognise the importance of moving through the school year with all the necessary uniform, books and school supplies, and we know there are families that struggle to provide these for their children,” said Martin Keogh, Chairman of the Bass Coast Community Foundation.
Each year the demand for these vouchers increases and this year the Foundation received half the number of vouchers it usually receives from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) due to difficulties they have had in sourcing funding for these vouchers. “The Bass Coast Community Foundation is proud to be in a position to make up the shortfall and ensure that our community is provided with $30,000 worth of vouchers in 2020 – taking the total value of vouchers distributed to local families over the 15 years to nearly $280,000” said Mr Keogh.
The vouchers have a value of $50 and while this might not seem a great deal of money to some, it can and does make a great deal of difference to the families concerned. It can mean school shoes that fit properly, school uniform items like all the other kids, enough stationery and other requisites for the year, or a warm and waterproof jacket for winter.
When delivering vouchers to schools, Foundation Board Members and the Executive Officer heard that Bass Coast school’s value these vouchers immensely, and they make a significant difference for children whose families struggle on very low incomes.
The Bass Coast Community Foundation Chairman's emphasised appreciation for the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and the Foundation’s donors for funding this important national program.
Over one million dollars has been distributed to individuals and organisations across the Bass Coast region over the past 17 years by the Bass Coast Community Foundation.
The Bass Coast Community Foundation is celebrating with a small group of founders, directors and generous longtime supporters having raised over one million dollars, which it holds in Trust for perpetuity. From this fund it will continue to distribute a minimum of $160,000 per year to organisations across the region that are focused on improving lives within our community.
In the past 17 years the Foundation has assisted:
- Over 2,500 primary, secondary and tertiary students
- Over 20 emerging performers
- Over 20 community organisations and the recipients of their services
- Over 70 learner drivers.
“It is good to see the long term support from partners like the Bass Coast Shire Council are still strong”, said Susan Davies the instigator of the Community Foundation over 20 years ago. Ms Davies acknowledged the significant achievement by past and present directors, supporters and donors in both having distributed over one million dollars and accumulating over one million dollars.
“This is a great result only achievable by the dedicated efforts of past and present directors but more importantly by the kind and generous donors, sponsors and volunteers in our community that give so generously to the Foundation,” said Martin Keogh, current chairman of the Foundation. “The Foundation has recently been fortunate to receive two significant bequeaths that will ensure the wishes of those community members continue to improve lives and well-being across Bass Coast into eternity” he said.
“I was elated when I heard the Foundation has reached a million dollar milestone. A small amount donated regularly adds up,” said Alan Brown, the first chairman of the Foundation.
“Every dollar makes a difference and every donation over $2 is tax deductible,” said Sylvia Davey a director for the entire 17 years of the Foundation, “so we can all make a difference by donating a little bit on a regular basis”. This is the only organisation in Bass Coast that raises funds and distributes funds solely for the benefit of this community. Find out more at www.bccf.org.au
In 2017 the Bass Coast Community Foundation (BCCF) pledged support to the Energy Innovation Cooperative totaling $60,000 to underpin the Old Energy New Energy project at the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine.
Earlier in March the Federal Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Mark Butler visited the Energy Innovation Co-op’s solar and battery array at the State Coal Mine. This installation will provide ongoing funds for community projects through the Southern CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy) Fund. It is a significant milestone and something the Foundation is proud to support.
The Bass Coast Community Foundation (BCCF) is a local charitable organisation, independent of religious or political persuasion. It was established in 2002 in response to a growing need for a sustainable source of funds for community projects. The BCCF operates exclusively within the boundaries of the Bass Coast Shire and is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors.
The BCCF congratulates the Energy Innovation Co-op’s achievements and alongside them celebrate the solar/battery installation of 91 kW of solar panels and 41 kWh battery storage at the State Coal Mine Wonthaggi. This system will produce 127 MW of clean power per annum. That's an offset of 127 tonnes of CO2 annually; the equivalent to taking 37 petrol cars off the road. It is more than the current annual consumption of the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine (112MW.)
Income provided to Energy Innovation Co-op by the sale of electricity to Parks Victoria will further support community groups to install renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, helping them cut power bills and reduce carbon emissions.
It is through many small donations, as well as bequests and funding from partners that enable the BCCF to build its reserves to a sustainable level allowing it to get behind social enterprises like the Energy Innovation Cooperative.